Did you grow up hearing…it's better to be safe than sorry... if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen... don't rock the boat....? Has putting stake in those adages left you feeling frustrated, lost, or hungry for more out of life? Has it sabotaged your success? If so, then start the Summer season with a FLIP in your thinking. Don’t settle for risk aversion and mediocrity. Become a purposeful risk taker. Take charge of your resources and use them to your advantage.

“Risk” isn’t just about danger. There’s an uncertain element to living. Advancing your career, making relationships work, improving your golf score---all uncertain ventures but worth taking a risk. Purposeful Risk Taking means that you understand the uncertainty but you seek the potential benefits. You take the challenge, stretch yourself, and make the investment---on purpose.

Your resources are the available means, advantages, or supplies that you can give to other people. Giving your resources builds your influence. Even if you can’t write big checks, give incentives or provide manpower, don’t jump to the conclusion that you have nothing to offer. There are many practical resources that are within your reach.

You stay updated in your industry. You have knowledge and skills in your leisure time pursuits. And if you are involved in community organizations, church, or your children’s school, you are in touch with community concerns. These three areas---occupation, leisure, and community concerns---are your fuel for bright ideas. What you know can be useful to others. If you see a need for information, by all means pass it on. Share a journal article, web site, idea, strategy, bargain, technique or trend. Look for opportunities. Share your bright ideas in the spirit of good will.

Reach out and use your helping hands to make the world better. You can perform a simple task like picking up litter along your street. You can offer to assist another person who is overloaded with pressures or responsibilities. Or you can volunteer in one of many organized community causes---to feed the hungry, visit the sick, give shelter to the homeless, or protect the environment. These simple acts of helping others can truly make a difference.

The words you use and the tone of your voice can build influence or drive wedges. Thoughtful expressions of appreciation, gratitude, or affirmation can convey the sense that you care about a person and notice their efforts. Affirming words are far more likely to motivate someone to be cooperative. You can even express frustration and disappointment with kind words. A person might forget the content of your words, but they will never forget how your words made them feel.

Bits and pieces are tangible items that can be given away at just the right time. Giving a birthday card, a meaningful book, or a cup of tea can be a wonderful pick-me-up. Having a safety pin, a band-aid, or a stamp might save the day. Or how about keeping birthday candles, a kazoo, or a whoopee cushion in your bottom desk drawer to stimulate impromptu fun? Be on the lookout for opportunities to provide bits and pieces as needed.

Take a minute to reflect:
•State one thing you enjoy about your job.
•Identify a cause that you are passionate about.
•Name a charity that you support with your time or money.
•Acknowledge a character trait you most want to be known for.
•Specify three things that mean pure FUN for you.

Your responses give insights into your passion and purpose in life. Your co-workers need your enthusiasm to fuel their own commitment. Your colleagues are energized by your character. Your community is enhanced by your dedication to worthy causes. Your children need your sense of fun to learn how to enjoy life. These are things that you can joyfully give them.

Taking charge of your resources is risky business. The risk is that your resource might miss the mark, fail to get the desired result, or be rejected. Take the risk anyway! Swing into the Summer season prepared to "turn up the heat" and "rock the boat." Know what you have to give and be generous with your resources. The benefit is greater influence with your co-workers, clients, family and friends. It’s certainly a risk worth taking.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Newton is the Risk Enhancer. Cathy is a professional speaker who pushes people to get in the full swing of purposeful risk taking for performance improvement. This article was adapted and excerpted from Cathy’s book: Living in Full Swing. Order book: www.advantagebookstore.com
Contact Cathy: www.CathyNewton.com)